OH SO YOU THOUGHT I WAS DONE WITH WEDDING TALK? NO MA’AM. I have a head cold that just won’t quit and stress and fatigue just in general, but what I also have is THIS MOMENT WHEN I HID IN AN OFFICE WITH MY BRIDESMAIDS BEFORE WALKING UP THE AISLE, SIPPING TEQUILA AND SHOVING PEANUT M&Ms AND GOLDFISH CRACKERS INTO MY FACE AND I NEVER FELT SO BEAUTIFUL.
Because not all bridesmaids could make the Vegas trip, as some are with child, both inside and outside of their bodies, and also because I’m the luckiest girl in the world, Julien (my oldest friend in the world) threw me a beautiful bridal luncheon the day before the wedding. And because she is a genius person, it was a MAKE YOUR OWN TOAST PARTY, complete with a charming toast menu that matched our invitation, and specialty wine glasses with my friends’ nicknames for me all over them, and of course, buckets and buckets of rosé.
Wait, let’s take a closer look at that there menu:
It was only one of the greatest afternoons of my life. I got to sit around with six of my most world favorite gals, eating toast. I got to gift them all with flannel shirts and overly earnest love letters to our friendships. Most bestly, I asked them all to give me marriage advice, either based on their own marriages, or marriages they have witnessed, or just, you know, advice.
Some favorites: Give each other time and space, especially after having a baby. PATIENCE. Really, really don’t go to bed angry. And it’s gonna be hard sometimes, but it’s great. And don’t hide things from each other, but keep a few things just for yourself. And Let him play video games. Bekah, just let him do it.
My advice to YOU: FIND AND BE FRIENDS WITH THESE EXACT WONDROUS WOMEN.
EXCEPT THAT SKETCHY CHARACTER IN THE OVERALLS. STAY AWAY. ONE MOMENT OF FRIENDSHIP WITH HER AND SHE WILL FILL YOUR APARTMENT WITH EARNEST NOTES.
FACT: The Brunstetters are not great dancers, by nature or trade.
ALSO FACT: The Foster-Keddies, by contrast, are in fact VERY GOOD DANCERS.
MOST IMPORTANT FACT: Morrison took ballroom dancing in high school and is in fact a VERY VERY VERY GOOD DANCER. We practiced a bit at home, but mostly I just tried to trust that he would lead me, which he did (INSERT MARRIAGE METAPHOR.) For our first dance — Sam Cooke’s You Send Me — I just let him do his fancy knee and footwork things, and spin me around a bunch while I laughed gleefully and floated around on my own feelings.
ANOTHER DANCE RELATED FACT: My poor wonderful Dad took dance lessons and learned a special father / daughter dance, which I then also learned. But by the time I was done with my husband dance, I had no dance left in me. And so, I found the father / daughter dance — Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable — to be, in fact, VERY FORGETTABLE, by which I mean I just sort of forgot all of it, and I buried my face in my Dad and said something to the effect of, I can’t, and so we just laughed and swayed like amateurs who had never had lessons at all,
But most importantly, we laughed and we laughed and we laughed, and it was better than any dance that could have been planned, or you know, slaved over for the course of WEEKS. SORRY DAD!
Oh, did you want content UNRELATED to the beautiful weekend / life experience I just had? Feel free to check back in approximately one year once I’ve come back down. I have every intention of slowly trotting out memories and moments here so that I continue to fully remember every moment of it. It’s still kind of a blur, even though apparently, I’ve been informed that the moonshine at the reception in fact made me stomp around shouting to people, I FEEL SO PRESENT! And so today, on the Wedding, the train of my dress — pictured here with my Grandma’s mink:
It was long. Like epic long. When I got the dress I knew it was slightly impractical, being that the ceremony was in the grass under a tree, and that the reception was in a horse stable. But I loved its fairy queen-ness AND its impracticality. But after the I do’s and pictures, the best feeling ever was just LETTING THE THING GO AND DRAG THROUGH THE DIRT.
There is something amazing about getting very dressed up and then letting it all go. It felt so freeing. The release of tension, literal and figurative.
Once Morrison and I were married, he finally got to open my box, BY WHICH I OF COURSE MEAN the delicately wrapped gift containing a letter I had to write to my future husband in sixth grade sunday school:
I somehow managed to keep and preserve said box for 22 years, thanks to my obsession with old childhood things and how they indicate that we are basically the same people for our entire lives. The box itself is like a tiny vision board before vision boards were a thing:
And its contents are hilarious and naive and sweet and bear traces of an early warped sense of a humor based deeply in puns and bad spelling.
So happy I ended up with a ‘stud of studs’ instead of a ‘dud of duds’ (?) who actually finds this amusing; does not run away, screaming.
The beautiful and simple yet moderately sturdy Oak Island Pier, that I spent my childhood walking up and down, that my idiot brothers and cousins lept off of, that I tried to meet boys on, has sadly been destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.
Watching the video of its collapse stabbed hard at my heart, but being that coastal Carolinians are strong and used to storms and the rebuilding that comes after, I have faith that it will soon reappier.
Edward Albee died yesterday, and of course though it is he who died, I am a playwright, and so it is a profound event that occurred mostly to me. But seriously though: like a lot of theater people, he is one of the very reasons I started writing plays. I discovered his plays in college, and they were messy and brave and passionate and weird, and they gave me permission to attempt to write the same. Below is my fb post documenting my one real life interaction with him. When someone dies and everyone posts about them, do the posts gain mass and form and create some sort of cloud you can see but can’t touch, and does the person then live on that cloud for eternity? If so, Albee’s is a MASSIVE MANSION CLOUD.
I would post my signed Edward Albee thing, but it went something like this: I was 20 I think, coming out of the Elephant Man, and saw him coming out of the Goat, Or Who is Sylvia, next door. I recognized him immediately, floated towards him, with my Elephant Man playbill in hand, and said, ‘You are my favorite playwright.’ He said thank you, thank you, started to take my playbill to sign — then saw what it was. ‘I didn’t write that. I’m not that playwright. You have no idea who I am.’ And he got into his car, off to the Tonys. I decided in that moment that playwrights are oftentimes invisible people sliding out the backstage door who deserve to be seen and known. RIP, brilliant man. May you be known and known and known.
One of my favorite things about being the protagonist of my own life is how my music library is still peppered with random sound effects from plays I helped make twelve years ago. Airport ambient sounds and distant explosions and old phones ringing. So when I’m driving around and the three only Pandora stations I listen to (Paul Simon / Beyonce / Heart) have worn out their welcome, and I decide to shuffle through my itunes, every few hours or so my car will be filled with the sounds of a large toilet flushing for 27 seconds. And I never skip it. I just never, never do.
In May, big brostetter Pete texted my parents that he had a early Mother’s Day present to bring over. Of course my mom theorized that it might be news of a grandkid. But, it was a birdhouse. Given that in terms of life priorities and goals for my mom, it goes 1.) Grandkids 2.) Birds, she was still stoked. Cut to yesterday, when Pete and his wife Mary arrived for lunch — Pete came in with news: THERE’S A BABY IN THE BIRD HOUSE!!! Given that MY priorities are 1.) Wedding prep 2.) Chicken Pot Pies 3.) baby birds, my mom and I both ran outside like children to see. In the bird house we found the weirdest looking baby bird there ever was, by which I mean a SONOGRAM FOR A HUMAN BABY. Only then did Pete reveal that when he went to put the sonogram in the birdhouse before they came in, he discovered that the BIRDHOUSE WAS FULL OF WASPS THAT STUNG HIM REPEATEDLY WHICH HE THEN HAD TO PRETEND DID NOT AT ALL HAPPEN WHEN HE CAME IN TO TRICK US. Brunstetter priorities in general: 1.) Jokes / tricks / gags, 2. ) pain management. New kid, prepare to hear this story OVER AND OVER til it’s nearly dead. CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU, LIL’ BIRD!
My brothers and I are all two years apart. It makes it easy to know exactly how old they are, and also my own age, when I’m really stuck. As long as I remember how old one of them is, the rest of our ages, including my own, are a rudimentary math problem away. About 900 times through my teens and twenties, I thought to myself: one day, we will all be in our thirties, and that will be insane. It took forever to happen. Nearly 30 years, you might say. In fact, youngest brother Tim turned eight for ten consecutive years. But finally — TODAY, TIM IS 30, which means I am almost 34, which means Pete is 36, which means Dan is almost 32, which means WE ARE ALL IN OUR 30′s, which means we are definitely, 100% no longer children regardless of how much string cheese I still consume. I would just like to go on record on behalf our parents and applaud each and every one of us for paying our own rent, making sensible fashion and life choices, and just being supremely good at getting older. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TINY TIM! WELCOME TO OUR DECADE!